If you have only attended weddings as a guest prior to becoming a wedding and event planner, it can be confusing to understand the correct etiquette as a vendor. The key point is to remember is that we are there to work, not to be a wedding guest.
Here are the basics of wedding and event vendor etiquette:
- Vendor professionals should not dance with guests on the dance floor. There are occasional exceptions when the bride and groom may pull you on the dance floor, but this doesn’t happen often for most vendors.
- Eat dinner after the guests are served. Once guests are served or after they start eating from the buffet or food stations, vendor professionals can enjoy their dinner. If you are working at the event for more than 3-4 hours, it is acceptable to ask for a vendor meal during dinner. You can have the vendor meals added to the catering order prior to the event. Many event planners require this in their contracts.
- Find a spot to eat dinner that is located away from the reception area where guests are seated. It is not appropriate for wedding and event vendors to be seated with guests during dinner. It can cause an uncomfortable situation for both the vendors and the guests.
- It is acceptable to get a non-alcoholic drink or two from the bar but event vendors should not consume alcohol at the event. There are some cities where it is acceptable for musicians and bands to drink alcohol. When in doubt, stick with water or soda.
- Keep your attire professional. As professionals, we want to blend in but not look like a wedding guest.
- At cocktail hour, stay clear of the appetizers and too much mingling. Many event planners are very social and love to chat with guests. Keep it minimal and leave the hors d’ oeuvres for the guests.
As a wedding and event professional, what other etiquette rules do you follow at events?